8 Best Books About Resilience Update 05/2022

Resilience is one of those words that sounds hard to understand until you realize that it’s just your ability to bounce back from problems. It seems that some people are born with the ability to move forward, but others get stuck in the muck and don’t move forward at all. The good news is that even if you’re not naturally resilient, you can learn how to be more resilient. Books can help you deal with a global pandemic, deal with racial inequality, or deal with the death of a loved one.

Our list has both simple self-help options, like “Freedom from Anxious Thoughts and Feelings,” and memoir-style stories, like “Between the World and Me.”
Our favorite books about being strong are:

‘Freedom From Anxious Thoughts and Feelings: A Two-Step Mindfulness Approach for Moving Beyond Fear and Worry,’ by Scott Symington, PhD

According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, anxiety is the most common form of mental illness in the United States. This is because around 40 million people in the United States have anxiety. The book Freedom from Anxious Thoughts and Feelings has a practical method called the “two-screen method.” This method can help stop anxious thoughts in their tracks. There are three things author Scott Symington, PhD, refers to as the three anchors: mindfulness skills, healthy distractions, and loving action. The two-screen method is built on these three things.

Practicing mindfulness can improve your overall health, and in this short guide, Symington shows you how to change how you respond to difficult thoughts and feelings. It can help you build a plan that you can use to deal with anxious feelings. Symington’s method is practical and easy to understand and use. It’s important for anyone who wants to be more present and focus on the things that make them happy.

‘Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy,’ by Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant

Sheryl Sandberg, the CEO of Facebook, says that we can be resilient both inside and outside of ourselves. It’s possible to grow even after the worst things happen, says Sandberg, the author of the best-selling book Lean In. This is because we can find deeper meaning and more appreciation in our lives, she says. In Option B, she shows how to help others in trouble, develop compassion for ourselves, raise strong kids, and build strong families, communities, and workplaces.

Sandberg was getting ready for a father-child event at her child’s school two weeks after her husband died. Dave was her husband, who died. “I want Dave,” she cried. Her friend told her that Option A was not an option, and then said that she would help her make the most of Option B. Sandberg’s book is a mix of memoir and how-to, and she spends a lot of time talking about how to raise resilient kids and how to find strength in your family. She says it’s important to help kids figure out what they’re good at, and one way to do that is to get them to help other people.

‘Between the World and Me,’ by Ta-Nehisi Coates

Coates, a well-known journalist turned author, wrote Between the World and Me as a letter to his 15-year-old son. Coates shows how racism has been a part of America’s history and identity for a long time. Racism is something he thinks about because he was a Black person in the United States when he was young. Coates gives both advice and comfort to his son, who may be going through the same thing. Throughout Coates’ lyrical writing, resilience is a common theme. This is because Coates talks about social constructs of race, fear living in a Black body, the false promises of the American Dream, police brutality, and the autonomy of the body. There was a book called Between the World and Me that won the National Book Award for Nonfiction in 2015. It was also a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Nonfiction in 2016.

‘How to Change Your Mind: What the New Science of Psychedelics Teaches Us About Consciousness, Dying, Addiction, Depression, and Transcendence,’ by Michael Pollan

Suppose that as you are dying, you could take a drug that would make you less afraid of death and what comes next. You might take it. Michael Pollan talks about that in his book, How to Change Your Mind, which is about the history and uses of psychoactive substances like LSD and psilocybin (aka, magic mushrooms, which some medical experts believe contain a compound that could be used to treat depression). Pollan was never a drug user. In middle age, he became interested in the idea of becoming “more open,” so he looked into how some of these drugs could be used to treat depression, anxiety, addiction, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Psychiatric care in this country is broken, says Pollan. Pharmaceutical companies are becoming less willing to invest in new antidepressants. Pollan talked to people who think there should be a kind of mental health club where people can try psychedelics in a safe and supportive way. Scientists Pollan talked to believe that psychedelic therapy can help people who have a chemical disorder and aren’t sure what they want to do with their lives, so they use them. Pollan makes a strong case for psychedelic therapy, even though this all sounds a little out there, but it’s worth a try.

‘Resilient: How to Grow an Unshakable Core of Calm, Strength, and Happiness,’ by Rick Hanson, PhD

A neuropsychologist named Rick Hanson, PhD, says that the best way to be resilient is to build up your strengths like grit and gratitude. He also founded the Greater Good Science Center at the University of California at Berkeley. The title of his new book, Resilient: How to Grow an Unbreakable Core of Calm, Strength, and Happiness, says that he wants to show you how to build resilience and long-term well-being.

It’s what Hanson thinks: The brain is a muscle that can be changed for the better if it gets enough stimulation and practice. People who work out their brains in different ways can build up mental resources that they can use when things get tough. It’s true that resilience helps us deal with things like loss and trauma, but it can do much more than that. True resilience leads to a sense of well-being, happiness, love, and peace.

‘Beauty in the Broken Places: A Memoir of Love, Faith, and Resilience,’ by Allison Pataki

As quickly as possible, Allison Pataki’s life went from what she thought was going to happen (living with her husband and having a baby on the way) to a journey of love and loss that she didn’t expect. A few months into her pregnancy, Pataki was on a flight to Hawaii with her husband to celebrate their babymoon. At 30,000 feet, her husband had a near-fatal stroke. His memories of their life together were lost when he finally woke up in the hospital. The man she married was also gone. After giving birth, she also had to take care of an ailing partner who couldn’t remember her. As a form of therapy and to show her love for her husband, she started writing him letters every day. She wanted him to remember their history and how much they loved each other. Beauty in the Broken Places is a book that tells the story of a woman’s love for her husband through letters written to him. In them, she talks about how she has been hurt and how she has learned to be strong.

‘The Art of Dying Well: A Practical Guide to a Good End of Life,’ by Katy Butler

The Art of Dying Well is a book that takes a hard look at the medical system in the United States today and how to deal with it when we’re getting old. One of the best journalists in the world, Katy Butler, is an expert on end-of-life issues and has written a book about how to make the most of your time. The book walks people through the seven stages of late life, starting with active living and ending with active dying. It gives advice on how to take charge of your time, your options, and your life.

In the first part of the book, Butler talks about health. This is what he calls “the resilience phase.” She gives a checklist that includes everything from how to find a medical advocate to how to sign up for an HMO (health maintenance organization). In the last few chapters, she talks about more sensitive things, like how to deal with the emotional task of death, how to leave a good emotional legacy, and how to make sure that you die peacefully and quickly.

‘Hardwiring Happiness: The New Brain Science of Contentment, Calm, and Confidence,’ by Rick Hanson, PhD

Rick Hanson, an author and a psychologist, says that humans have evolved to learn quickly from bad experiences and slowly from good ones, which is why they don’t learn as quickly from good experiences. A brain set up to take in bad things and not pay attention to good ones makes us worried, angry, and stressed instead of confident and happy, he says. We all have a hard time paying attention to the chances we have each day, and then using them to build our own strength. Make sure you don’t let your negative thoughts get in the way of building new neural structures that make you happy and confident.

InHardwiring Happiness, Hanson lists four steps that can help you be happy and build a strong sense of resilience as your new normal. Even just a few minutes a day can make your brain a place of calm and happiness, he says. Hanson’s own experience with melanoma, which his brother-in-law was also diagnosed with and died from, gave him the chance to change how he thinks about things when things go wrong. Sunscreen is a lot of work. Is it even going to help? He chose to be happy because his diagnosis had made him more understanding of people who have illnesses and given him a new sense of gratitude for life. When it comes down to it, what does Hanson say? Making positive meaning out of bad things, or “reframing,” is important for coping and moving forward.

‘Rising Strong: How the Ability to Reset Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead,’ by Brené Brown, PhD

Five years ago, Brené Brown’s talk about vulnerability took the TED stage by storm (41 million views and counting). Her popularity hasn’t slowed down. It’s partly because of her new Netflix show, The Call to Courage, but also because she’s just so smart when it comes to talking about things like courage, shame, and worth. In Rising Strong, Brown says that the only way to get more love, belonging, creativity, and joy is to be more open and honest.

It’s not easy to live a “brave” life, though. You’re going to stumble and fall, she says. It’s when we rise up and become stronger that we can move forward. Brown has been a researcher at a university for more than 20 years. She has heard CEOs, veterans and active military, teachers, and parents talk about how they fell down and got back up. She realized that they all had one thing in common: They weren’t afraid to let go of their discomfort. This convinced Brown that spirituality is an important part of being resilient.

‘Everything Is F*cked: A Book About Hope,’ by Mark Manson

This book looks at the roots of our collective unhappiness to see what resilience is all about. “You become more resilient when you face difficulties and challenges,” Mark Manson says. When it comes to material things, humans are better off than they have ever been. We are more educated and literate, and extreme poverty is at an all-time low. There is still a big rise in the symptoms of depression and anxiety in young people over the last 80 years. There’s no better news for their parents either. So what can we do?

People can get over their problems by connecting with the world in new ways. In Everything is F*cked, Manson gives practical, no-holds-barred advice on how to get over whatever is bothering you. Manson talks about the problem of loneliness in the United States and how the “social connective tissue in the country is being ripped apart by the overabundance of things to do.” Self-limitation is the only way to be free, he says. This means figuring out what (or who) you can cut out of your life so that you can spend your time and energy on the things that really matter to you, like your family.

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